Philip Horne

Academic; critic; professor, English, University Collage London

UK

Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

Bicycle Thieves, The

1948

Vittorio de Sica

Citizen Kane

1941

Orson Welles

It's a Wonderful Life

1947

Frank Capra

Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, The

1943

Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger

My Night with Maud

1969

Eric Rohmer

Passion of Joan of Arc

1927

Carl Theodor Dreyer

Règle du jeu, La

1939

Jean Renoir

Seven Samurai

1954

Akira Kurosawa

Tokyo Story

1953

Ozu Yasujirô

Vertigo

1958

Alfred Hitchcock

Comments

I have chosen films of balance, wisdom and complexity, films that reward repeated return visits, films whose oddities are inspired and satisfying, with which one can go together through life. Still, any such list feels arbitrary. Some great careers go unrepresented here. No Fritz Lang, Lubitsch, Robert Bresson, Jean Vigo, Hawks, Ford, Pasolini, Fellini, Kieslowski, Buñuel or Kubrick. Where are, for instance, Truffaut’s 400 Coups, Scorsese’s Raging Bull, Ford’s The Searchers, Dickinson’s Queen of Spades, Keaton’s The General, Chaplin’s City Lights, Griffith’s Birth of a Nation, Tarkovsky’s Solaris, Boorman’s Deliverance, Polanski’s Chinatown, Carpenter’s Halloween or Fincher’s Zodiac? My choices are fairly canonical and none of the directors are now living: these are the foundations. They are all films in which a number of extraordinary talents converge, making them miracles of collaboration and discovery.

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